How does this benefit rhino conservation?
The Rhino Are in Trouble
Ted Reilly, Royal Advisor on wildlife to the Kingdom of Swaziland and Founder of Big Game Parks Trust.
A significant opportunity
The wildlife management plan created by local conservation officials aims to restore balance to the land inside Swaziland’s wildlife parks and shift the conservation focus to supporting endangered populations of black and white rhinos:
- The black rhino is critically endangered. Once the most abundant of all rhino species, 10 years ago fewer than 2,500 remained. One subspecies became extinct three years ago.
- White rhino are doing only slightly better. After nearly becoming eliminated 100 years ago, the population has rebounded somewhat, but remains threatened.
Both species are under threat. Poachers kill rhinos for their horns, and demand is strong. Luckily, rhinos do not damage the land, and large numbers could thrive in Swaziland’s protected parks.
Wildlife experts believe the habitats currently decimated by the impact of a few dozen elephants have the potential to support hundreds of black and white rhinos, creating a significant opportunity to help a far more critically endangered species in Africa.
To help accomplish this goal, the three accredited zoo partners will support Swaziland rhino conservation efforts for years to come, providing technical and financial support to aid the transition and ensure its success.
Protecting large numbers of rhinos while saving the lives of elephants is a win-win scenario for conservation and animal welfare.
Black Rhino Facts
- Diceros bicornis
- Adult weight range: 1-3,000 pounds
- Approximately 5,000 surviving (IUCN, 2013)
- Status: Critically endangered
White Rhino Facts
- Ceratotherium simum
- Adult weight range: 3-7,000 pounds
- Approximately 20,000 surviving (IUCN, 2013)
- Status: Near Threatened